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Author Topic: The Return of the American Council of Witches  (Read 9249 times)

Micheál

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2011, 02:30:31 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;25667
From The Wild Hunt:



It is, of course, not really a "return" of the original council, but a revival of the name (unless you count Oberon Zell's involvement in both as sufficient continuity) - but so far it looks every bit as ill-conceived.

I wasn't sure if I was going to post about it, but it was mentioned in passing in another thread, so I figured a post to say, "Trainwreck's over there, for those who want to find out what the fuss is about," was in order.

("The trouble with being pagan [or other subculture/identity group] is the company you sometimes find yourself keeping." - Sunflower's Law)

Sunflower

Something that didn't quite work the 1st time around being recycled. There were a few good heads involved, but it was mostly constructed of people that I'd hardly call "Wiccan authority figures." The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief that they published ended up being a way for them to pressure everyone into agreeing with them, with the standards exceeding the boundaries of America. Due to this it's always been controversial in Trad circles, and as I've said before, an elder of mine even says, "I disagree with 12 of them," due to their lack of any solid understanding.

A bit before my time, but I know all about Oberon Zell Ravenheart and The Church of All Worlds   because I'm originally from St. Louis, MO, and their influence has always remained within the wider pagan community there to a certain extent. The Chaplain's Manual is still around, but out-dated and not sought after much compared to a lot of the other ways Chaplains are trained. A re-write might give something new to enforce that might actually end up writing more people off, than helping. I know I was able to make it through my enlistment as a pagan just fine as is, but the intentions seem pure. Only time will tll, but I'm sure not confident with the "New Council" of The Council of American Witches on board. Count me in with those calling it a train wreck!

RandallS

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2011, 07:59:46 am »
Quote from: Micheál;25911
The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief that they published ended up being a way for them to pressure everyone into agreeing with them, with the standards exceeding the boundaries of America.

Expanding on this:

This is exactly why self-appointed "spokesgroups" for a religion made up of a number of independent subgroups and many different but related views is not a good idea. It's bad enough when some author gets to "define" the religion by publishing a popular/"bestselling" book, but small groups giving themselves fancy titles and and making pronouncements about what a religion believes and doesn't believe carry a lot of weight with the media and hence the general public.

Many may not remember the Pagan Unity Campaign's attempt (in the early 2000s) to define Paganism in such a way that many Pagan religions would be excluded from the definition because they wanted a nice "white light" definition of Paganism to use in lobbying Congress. They did not want to have to include groups that might upset the fundies in their definition. However, this is why so people are immediately suspicious of any group -- but especially a basically self-appointed group -- like this.
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Catherine

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2011, 12:23:25 pm »
Quote from: Livia Indica;25894
I don't know, I'm kinda curious to see what they come up with, it could be interesting. I'm actually surprised at the negativity dripping from this thread.  


Speaking only for myself here, the whole thing looks shady to me. At first, I thought I'd give them the benefit of the doubt and check it out a little closer. I thought that maybe someone might get something right this time around. So, I go to the facebook page. Oops, it's not public, gotta have a facebook account to see it. Shady.

I personally asked if they had plans for an actual website. The answer was, oh, we're working on one, and waiting for donations. They want monetary support from people but there is no public, easily accessible way to see what they're trying to accomplish. Shady.

I personally (as well as few other people) asked if they would make their facebook page public so that everyone could see their progress, etc. and have an opportunity to decide if they wanted to support the project or not. There was no response. As of yesterday, the page is still private. Shady.

First they claim they were contacted by the army. But wait, no they weren't. So who's got the bug up their ass to do this and to what end? Shady.

They claim to want input from "the pagan community" but then they deleted all comments from their facebook page. Why? Because some of those comments were "threatening", and in the interest of fairness, thought they should delete them all. Wait...what? Shady.

They've been asked at least twice, once by me personally, if they planned to represent solitary pagans who aren't part of any tradition. As of yesterday, there still had been no answer to that question. Shady.

Also, they keep reiterating that questions, concerns, and comments can be asked via private email. So, they don't seem to be very concerned with  open, honest dialog at all. Shady.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

Based on what I've seen at TWH I can only guess that someone is looking to make a name for herself. The attitude seems to be, we only want to hear from people who will blindly support what we're doing, because we say it's a good thing. If you can't do that, then shut up, we don't care what you think.  

Not the kind of thing I can get behind, and certainly not the kind of people that I want speaking for me. But hey, I probably don't have to worry about that because I certainly don't seem to fit into any of the categories they deem worthy of being represented.

That could be a good thing, at least I won't be misrepresented. Unless this does get off the ground and actually does become some kind of guide for government agencies. If that happens, I might find myself defined right out of paganism altogether.  

So, there you have my problems with this project.

Owl

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2011, 02:24:51 pm »
Quote from: Livia Indica;25894
I don't know, I'm kinda curious to see what they come up with, it could be interesting. I'm actually surprised at the negativity dripping from this thread.  

And exactly why is the original considered such a failure? I don't have any strong feelings for it either way but I'm curious as to the source of the vitriol.


I have to second all the others who are see both as NOT GOOD.  I am not wiccan or wiccish or BTW.  I DO consider myself a witch.  I DON'T agree with the 13 principles.  

So, where does this leave me?  Out in the cold with these sorts.  And what about all the non-witch pagans?  Do we all not count?  Perhaps I should add, I vote.
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Tana

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2011, 02:28:44 pm »
Quote from: Catherine;25965

So, there you have my problems with this project.


Want my Madame-Zelda-Opinon?
*looks in her coca-cola glass*
I see zis prrroject to become ... an epic fail and every worried thought about it, is a waste of time. ;) It will just be one of many non-starters, 'the' pagan scene has seen concerning a 'unified' umbrella organization, or a witch king/queen, big whatever. ;)
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
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Confuzzled and proud. :p

Tana

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2011, 02:30:31 pm »
Quote from: Owl;25975
I have to second all the others who are see both as NOT GOOD.  I am not wiccan or wiccish or BTW.  I DO consider myself a witch.  I DON'T agree with the 13 principles.  

So, where does this leave me?  Out in the cold with these sorts.  And what about all the non-witch pagans?  Do we all not count?  Perhaps I should add, I vote.


Ah, come on, you know: the natural size of a coven is one. So not a problem anyway for us unruly non-fitting witches. :D:
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

mandrina

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2011, 03:11:45 pm »
Quote from: Catherine;25965
Speaking only for myself here, the whole thing looks shady to me. At first, I thought I'd give them the benefit of the doubt and check it out a little closer. I thought that maybe someone might get something right this time around. So, I go to the facebook page. Oops, it's not public, gotta have a facebook account to see it. Shady.



Actually, this is the one part that doesn't look shady to me.  A facebook page is actually an acceptable place to start, and unless I've been doing it wrong (which is entirely possible), to see a facebook page, one must join facebook.
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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2011, 03:38:38 pm »
Quote from: mandrina;25985
Actually, this is the one part that doesn't look shady to me.  A facebook page is actually an acceptable place to start, and unless I've been doing it wrong (which is entirely possible), to see a facebook page, one must join facebook.

 
Plenty of businesses and public organisations set their Facebook information to be publically accessible.  Which makes sense, since they want to be accessible to those people who are not on Facebook.
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mandrina

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2011, 04:07:15 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;25989
Plenty of businesses and public organisations set their Facebook information to be publically accessible.  Which makes sense, since they want to be accessible to those people who are not on Facebook.



Obviously I've not been doing it right.
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SunflowerP

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2011, 09:10:09 pm »
Quote from: Catherine;25965
I personally asked if they had plans for an actual website.... I personally (as well as few other people) asked if they would make their facebook page public so that everyone could see their progress, etc. and have an opportunity to decide if they wanted to support the project or not.... They've been asked at least twice, once by me personally, if they planned to represent solitary pagans who aren't part of any tradition.

Oh, that was you!  Of course I thought of you when I saw the comments, but I didn't make assumptions - Catherine is a sufficiently common name, and Pagandom sufficiently populous, that I should hope that you're not the only Catherine-with-sense around:cf:!  (Though I never take sense for granted when I'm seeing what's up in Greater Paganville, and especially when The Pagan Community Tee Em is invoked.)

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« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 09:10:42 pm by SunflowerP »
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SunflowerP

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2011, 09:44:09 pm »
Quote from: Livia Indica;25894
And exactly why is the original considered such a failure? I don't have any strong feelings for it either way but I'm curious as to the source of the vitriol.

 
Well, for starters, because the Minnesota Witchmeet was pretty much a Llewellyn brainchild - it's roughly equivalent to if, say, Baen Publishing were to put on a SF convention (fine in itself), at which it was decided that con attendees/readers of Baen books constituted a representative sample of, and was able to speak for, all of SF fandom.

There are lots of other strands of complication to this - not least of which is that it occurred right smack in the middle of the Witch Wars, and almost certainly was driven at least in part by Witch Wars infighting and politics.  That the Council itself disintegrated into infighting shortly thereafter is both an indication that there was some good-faith effort to bring together factions that were in conflict, and an example of just how pervasive the fractiousness and hostility were.  Even so, there were factions that were not welcome at the Witchmeet, and other factions that it was particularly aligned with, so it was far from being the neutral meeting-ground it's often been presented as in later descriptions.

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RandallS

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2011, 11:10:22 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;26066
There are lots of other strands of complication to this - not least of which is that it occurred right smack in the middle of the Witch Wars, and almost certainly was driven at least in part by Witch Wars infighting and politics.

The whole thing was apparently the brainchild of Carl Weschcke who wanted to help put a stop to the Witch Wars. His heart was in the right place (as it often was), but the execution was flawed for all the reasons you mention.
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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2011, 06:42:53 am »
Quote from: mandrina;25985
Actually, this is the one part that doesn't look shady to me.  A facebook page is actually an acceptable place to start, and unless I've been doing it wrong (which is entirely possible), to see a facebook page, one must join facebook.

 
Except that it completely leaves out people (including me) who do not trust Facebook's privacy policies to stay stable for more than a few weeks, and therefore don't do anything they don't want to reveal to, say, coworkers on it. (Plus, there's a bunch of usability and other considerations in there.)

(I'll read public witchy pages on Facebook, but because I *have* to use it for work -  I'm part of the people who maintain the work-related Facebook page -  and include work colleagues, I'm careful about what else I do. What they did was force you to 'like' the page in order to see conversations, which means it will then show up on your profile - and if you don't have your security settings just right, that means other people may see that you've liked it.)

Plus, any organization that insists it costs money to have a basic website is missing a lot of important understanding of the world. (Wordpress.com, Google sites, and a number of other sources out there would all be easy and free ways to provide simple information about an organisation, alternate contact info for people who don't use Facebook, etc. and easy enough to transfer to a more complex paid site later on.)

(On the purely design front, there's also a lot of ways that Facebook is not the best sole page for an organisation: the layout of Facebook, for example, makes it harder to do "here's more information about us, in detail" and "here's extended documentation of what we're doing" in a way that's user friendly and accessible, of what you have doesn't fit their relatively short-form layout.)
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LyricFox

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2011, 09:03:23 am »
Quote from: Jenett;26141
Except that it completely leaves out people (including me) who do not trust Facebook's privacy policies to stay stable for more than a few weeks, and therefore don't do anything they don't want to reveal to, say, coworkers on it. (Plus, there's a bunch of usability and other considerations in there.)


This is part of what totally leaves me cold about this group. Regardless of what their purported "mission" is, the fact they are so unaware of their audience speaks volumes.

There are plenty of people who won't use FB for the reasons you've stated, and setting something up like this solely on FB in the manner they have tells me they really haven't thought this through. Or, if they have, dismissed the problems.
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Catherine

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Re: The Return of the American Council of Witches
« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2011, 10:06:14 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;26060
Oh, that was you!


Yes. I only mentioned it here to point out that I had asked specific questions. I don't comment much there at all. It's too hard to keep up with conversations.

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